Jos Buttler EXCLUSIVE: England star needed time away from the game after World Cup triumph to prepare for Ashes series

29 Jul

Jos Buttler needed a break after an emotionally draining World Cup to be ready for the Ashes.

The 28-year-old helped England win the tournament in a thrilling final against New Zealand that went down to a super over.

They played 11 matches in total over a six week period and had little time before Test matches started.

Jos Buttler lifts the World Cup trophy
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A number of England’s stars, including Buttler, chose to sit out the Test match with Ireland in order to rest for the Ashes series.

The first Test starts on Thursday at Edgbaston with several players set to return following the win over Ireland.

Jos Buttler celebrates after beating New Zealand in the World Cup final
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Buttler told talkSPORT: “Emotionally a lot went into the World Cup. We have been very invested over these last four years.

“We know what a big moment it was in the game. We had some struggles in the group stages as well and that takes a lot of your energy.

“I think it’s more mentally trying to let everything sink in. Certain individuals deal with it differently but certainly for me I felt like a bit of time away from the game would be beneficial.”

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes had a vital partnership for England in the final
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Buttler has not played a red ball match since February in the final match of the series in the West Indies.

Since then he has played in the IPL and World Cup but has backed himself to adapt quickly to the different format.

He managed to do the same last year when he was a surprise inclusion for the series against Pakistan and India.

“The big thing for me last year was that I was playing some of the best cricket I’d ever played in the IPL and I just came in full of confidence.

“I managed to carry that in and I think this year I have to try and remember those experiences I had as I hadn’t played any red ball cricket for quite a long time.

“I was able to come in and play okay. I have to try and think about it in the same way this year. It has been white ball dominant for the last four or five months so I will now try and switch to the red ball stuff.”

Jason Roy made his Test debut against Ireland
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Buttler has also backed Jason Roy and Jofra Archer to make an impact on the side during the Ashes.

Roy made his debut against Ireland while Archer was named in the squad for the first Test.

Buttler said: “He (Roy) is obviously coming into it in the form of his life and has shown he is the right sort of man for international cricket.

“For Jason it is about going out and playing his way and trusting it. He is definitely good enough so I’m very excited to watch him play.

“His (Archer) talent is undoubted. He’s one of the most exciting fast bowlers in the world already and he’s only played a handful of internationals.

“He’s fitted into the group great and has obviously played county cricket for a number of years.

“Myself and Stokesy played with his at the Rajasthan Royals so there were friendships formed already.”

England all-rounder Ben Stokes calls for Kane Williamson to receive New Zealander of the Year prize

23 Jul

Ben Stokes has admitted he feels ‘flattered’ to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but believes Black Caps captain Kane Williamson should win the prize.

World Cup winner Stokes was named man of the match as England beat New Zealand in a pulsating Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s earlier this month.

Stokes was England’s star player in an incredible final
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The all-rounder, 28, was born in New Zealand but moved to England aged 12.

“It would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award,” said Stokes.

“There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

“I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK.”



Stokes believes Williamson should be the recipient of the New Zealander of the Year prize
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The New Zealand public nominates ‘inspirational Kiwis’ for the award – those who believe they have made a “significant contribution to our nation and make us proud of our country”.

The likes of former New Zealand rugby union captain Richie McCaw, filmaker Taika Waititi and mental health campaigner Mike King have won the award in the past.

Stokes did say he was ‘proud’ of his New Zealand and Maori heritage but believes Williamson – who was named player of the tournament at the World Cup – to win.

“He [Williamson] should be revered as a Kiwi legend,” Stokes said. “He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour.

“He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

“He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote.”

England Cricket World Cup final hero Ben Stokes nominated New Zealander of the Year

19 Jul

Ben Stokes has been nominated for New Zealander of the Year despite beating the Black Caps in the Cricket World Cup final with England.

Stokes was the hero for the host nation on Sunday with a magnificent 84 not out as the match ended with scores tied.

He then batted in the super over as England went on to lift the trophy.

Ben Stokes has been nominated for New Zealander of the year
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The 28-year-old has strong connections to New Zealand as he was born in Christchurch before moving to England when he was 12.

It would seem that some Kiwis still see Stokes as one of their own.

The award’s chief judge Cameron Bennett said: “He might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch, where his parents now live, and with Maori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.”

The award is for inspirational New Zealanders who have ‘made a significant contribution to our national and make us proud of our country’.

Cricket World Cup player of the tournament, and Black Caps captain, Kane Williamson has also been nominated.

Past winners include former New Zealand rugby union captain Richie McCaw and filmmaker Taika Waititi.

Ben Stokes holds his hands up in apology after the ball hit him and deflected to reach the boundary
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Stokes spoke exclusively to talkSPORT earlier this week about his incredible innings and how he coped with the pressure at Lord’s.

“When you’re out there, in the middle, the whole occasion sort of gets you through,” Stokes said on Drivetime.

“I would much rather be out there than watching because I would be a nervous wreck!

“But the emotions when I went out there in the middle just ebbed and flowed. It felt like we were on top, and then it felt like we were behind again.

“And that’s what happened in the game, especially in the last hour, it was New Zealand’s and then it was ours, then we were on top and then New Zealand were on top again. So it was just like a roller coaster!”

England hero Jofra Archer relives thrilling World Cup final super over: ‘You probably don’t want to mess this up’

16 Jul

Three days on from his heroics at Lord’s, Jofra Archer still couldn’t find the words to describe how he felt when Jos Buttler finally ended the greatest game of cricket there ever was.

You know the story by now: England and New Zealand scored the exact same amount of runs twice, but England became world champions following a number of events which completely defy belief.

The most important reason, though, is that Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham couldn’t score more than seven runs off Archer’s final four deliveries.

Archer became an instant hero on Sunday
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It completed the Barbadian-born 24-year-old’s rise from obscurity to a household name. Just four months ago, he wasn’t even eligible for England selection. Now he’s shaking hands with the Prime Minister.

“Not being born here, a lot of people didn’t think I deserved the opportunity that I was given,” he told talkSPORT. “I’m just glad that I can show half a glimpse of why I’m here.”

Rewind to about 7pm on Sunday. Ben Stokes has just tied the match after 50 overs each and we’re heading to an unprecedented super over in the World Cup final.

Archer recalled: “With the super over, I asked Morgan yesterday, ‘How come you didn’t come to me a bit sooner?’

“As soon as he saw that Stokes got the one for the draw, we knew it was a super over and everyone was in the changing room just sitting around.

Archer still can’t find the words to describe the feeling
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“I sat down for five minutes and then I thought, ‘No, I’m not waiting anymore’.

“I went to Morgan and asked him if I was bowling it and he said yes. I thought, ‘Thanks for the heads up!’”

And it wasn’t all plain sailing. His first three deliveries, which included an opening wide, went for nine runs and New Zealand suddenly became favourites to get the 16 they needed.

“I was fuming at the wide because, in my opinion, it wasn’t a wide. Then it replayed and I still didn’t think it was a wide,” he said.

Archer helped England to their first ever World Cup triumph
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“I wasn’t too nervous; I didn’t think they were going to get 16.

“They got a lot closer than I thought – because I thought they would’ve panicked and try to go too hard. Halfway through the over I thought, ‘You probably don’t want to mess this up’.”

But the paceman quickly flipped the script. His next three deliveries were right on the money, leaving New Zealand needing two runs from the final ball of the World Cup.

“I was thinking, ‘Throw to the keeper!’ I would’ve broken a finger trying to take the bails off,” he added.

Four months ago, few people knew who Archer was, now he’s shaking hands with the Prime Minister
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“I just didn’t want a fumble, because there was a fumble earlier in the over and they should’ve got one instead of two.

“I can’t explain it. It’s a rare feeling. I was so happy, the crowd was going mental, I could see my family in the distance.

“Everyone was enjoying the moment. It was such a good atmosphere. I think everyone at Lord’s that day walked away feeling special, even if they didn’t bowl a ball.”

So, how does a world champion celebrate? Not too differently from the rest of us, it seems.

“I’ve got the T.V on watching the highlights right now! I’ll probably watch all of it, nothing else to do today really.”

Ashley Giles claims Ben Stokes would’ve guided England to World Cup glory without contentious ‘extra run’

16 Jul

Ashley Giles dismissed claims England benefited from an ‘extra run’ during their unbelievable World Cup triumph over New Zealand.

England’s director of cricket laughed off the suggestion from former international umpire Simon Taufel that the world champions should only have been awarded five runs, not six, after the ball ricocheted off Stokes’ bat and crossed the boundary as he dived to make his ground during a dramatic final over.

Stokes dives to make his ground and the ball hits him, going for a boundary
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Stokes holds up his hands to insist he didn’t mean to hit the ball
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Giles told Sky Sports: “Well, you can look at so many moments during the day. If that had been the case, Stokesy got a full toss last ball, he’d probably have smashed it out of the park rather than try to nurdle two.

“If you look over there, we’ve got the trophy and I think you’ll find it very difficult to get it out of their hands.”

The hosts triumphed in the competition for the first time after beating New Zealand following a super over at Lord’s.

England matched the Kiwis’ score of 241 from the final delivery, but earlier in the concluding over they were awarded six runs in bizarre circumstances.

 

With nine needed from three deliveries, Stokes and Adil Rashid pushed for a second run when a throw from the boundary hit the Durham all-rounder’s outstretched bat and went over the rope for four byes and six in total.

But Taufel, who was named ICC’s Umpire of the Year on five occasions, told foxsports.com.au: “They should have been awarded five runs, not six. It’s a clear mistake. It’s an error of judgement.

“In the heat of what was going on, [the umpires] thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw. Obviously TV replays showed otherwise.”

Law 19.8 of the MCC rulebook states: “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side and the allowance for the boundary and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”

Replays showed Stokes and Rashid had not crossed when the throw came in from Martin Guptill.

The International Cricket Council has not commented on the matter.

Kevin Pietersen tells talkSPORT: Fast-tracking Jofra Archer into England side won England the Cricket World Cup

15 Jul

Kevin Pietersen believes that England won the Cricket World Cup because of the decision to fast-track Jofra Archer into the side.

The ECB changed their eligibility rules to allow Barbados-born Archer to qualify to play for England just before the tournament.

Jofra Archer was England’s best bowler at the World Cup
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He played a pivatol role in the entire competitionl, taking 20 wickets, and also bowled the super over in the final to see the host nation beat New Zealand in the most dramatic of fashions.

The 24-year-old was also named in the team of the tournament, alongside three of his teammates.

Former England batsman Pietersen told talkSPORT: “People must not underestimate the value of Jofra Archer in that England side. Fast-tracking him in that England side won them that World Cup.

“A guy like Chris Woakes was able to just be under the radar there, Mark Wood came on first change, Jofra Archer bowled the super over yesterday.

Kevin Pietersen believes Archer won England the World Cup
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“He is as valuable as anybody in that team. I know Ben Stokes has taken the plaudits and got the man-of-the-match and a lot of the batters, like I did throughout my career, got a lot of the credit the bowlers didn’t.

“Jofra Archer is a very special bowler and there was method in England’s madness to fast track him into that England team.

“I think they could see the value of him and what he could bring to one-day cricket.”

Pietersen believes that Archer must now been included in the Test squad to face Australia in The Ashes, which gets under way next month.

He added: “Some people say it’s his best form of the game and if you actually look at the lines that he bowls…

“The short deliveries he bowls, so he can be aggressive in spells and change his lines to right and left handed batters.

“He is very disciplined in his line and length and it looks like he doesn’t use too much effort in bowling.

“I’ve played both with and against hi, and it looks effortless. It’s like a golfer’s swing.

“You look at his distribution when he drives through the crease. You look at Goughie, he looked like he was stealing hub caps off a moving car when he bowled.”

England heroes Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jason Roy and Jorfra Archer named in Cricket World Cup team of the tournament

15 Jul

Four England players have been chosen in the Cricket World Cup team of the tournament.

The host nation lifted the trophy after a thrilling final with New Zealand at Lord’s that went down to a super over.

Jofra Archer celebrated wildly as he help England win the World Cup
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It is the first time England have ever won the Cricket World Cup after previously losing in the three other finals they had reached.

Eoin Morgan’s side justified why they went into the tournament as the number one ranked side and the favourites.

Cricket World Cup team of the tournament

1. Jason Roy (England) – 443 runs @ 63.28

2. Rohit Sharma (India) – 648 runs @ 81.00

3. Kane Williamson, capt (New Zealand) – 578 runs @ 82.57

4. Joe Root (England) – 556 runs @ 61.77

5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) – 606 runs @ 86.57, 11 wickets @ 36.27

6. Ben Stokes (England) – 465 runs @ 66.42, seven wickets @ 35.14

7. Alex Carey (Australia) – 375 runs @ 62.50, 20 dismissals

8. Mitchell Starc (Australia) – 27 wickets @ 18.59

9. Jofra Archer (England) – 20 wickets @ 23.05

10. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) – 21 wickets @ 19.47

11. Jasprit Bumrah (India) – 18 wickets @ 20.61

England’s hero of the final Ben Stokes is in the team along with Jofra Archer, Joe Root and Jason Roy.

Losing captain Kane Williamson was named as the overall player of the tournament and picked as captain of the best XI, which was selected by an International Cricket Council panel.

England captain Eoin Morgan lifted the World Cup after a nail-biting finale
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Compatriot Lockie Ferguson was also included after taking 21 wickets.

There were two players each from the losing semi-finalists also picked.

From Australia, wicket-keeper Alex Carey was selected for his 375 runs and 20 dismissals.

Mitchell Starc was the top wicket taker at the tournament with 27 scalps and took a deserved place in the XI.

India stars Rohit Sharma, who scored 648 runs, and Jasprit Bumrah, who took 18 wickets, were chosen.

The only player outside of the top four teams to be picked was Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for his remarkable 606 runs and 11 wickets.

Are England having a victory parade for World Cup win? Cricket fans hoping for celebrations around London like 2005 Ashes

15 Jul

England are the new champions of the world but fans won’t be able to celebrate with their heroes in a victory parade.

Eoin Morgan’s men beat New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday in one of the most dramatic matches ever played.

England captain Eoin Morgan lifts the World Cup after victory for England at Lord’s
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It saw England win their first ever World Cup title and crowned a memorable tournament held in the UK this summer.

While the team and thousands at Lord’s celebrated long into the night after the match, fans around the country were hoping for a victory parade to join in with the festivities.

England held an open top bus tour around London following their famous victory in the 2005 Ashes.

But there will be no repeat of those scenes this summer.

The ECB deemed there is not enough time between the final and their Ashes warm-up Test to accommodate a celebratory parade.

England face Ireland in a Test match starting on Wednesday, July 24 at Lord’s ahead of the upcoming five game series against Australia.

While fans won’t get the chance to their see their heroes, England’s stars will doubt enjoy their remarkable achievement for some time to come yet.

Bowler Mark Wood told talkSPORT: “It’s the best feeling ever. We were dead and buried twice, I thought. I didn’t think before the two at the end we were going to make it.

“We got a bit of luck and Stokesy played unbelievably well. Then in the super over when they got the runs and when they needed three from two I was thinking ‘it’s not going to be our day’

“It was almost just meant to be and it was bodies flying everywhere and everyone just grabbing each other.

England ride in an open top bus after beating Australia in the 2005 Ashes
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“Jofra [Archer] was on the floor with Stokes. It was mental but brilliant at the same time.”

He added: “It did feel different. Obviously if we accept that it does feel different in probably in ways the first game of the tournament felt different.

“I think as long as you recognise it and accept it then it’s alright. On the field, as soon as I bowled my first ball then I was okay. Once you get into the game then it’s alright.

“It’s where the training takes over and the match takes over so you take it from there really.”

‘England have found an identity’ – Cricket legend Freddie Flintoff praises Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss for turning one-day side from ‘shocking’ to World Cup winners

15 Jul

Cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff has hailed Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss for turning the England one-day side from ‘shocking’ to World Cup winners.

Morgan was the first England captain to lift the Cricket World Cup on Sunday after leading his side to a dramatic ‘super over’ victory over New Zealand in the final at Lord’s.

The win has been celebrated as a watershed moment for British cricket, with Player of the Match Ben Stokes hailed as a new legend-in-the-making and the team tipped to inspire the next generation of cricket-lovers and players.

England captain Eoin Morgan lifts the World Cup with the England team
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Two-time Ashes winner Flintoff was no doubt celebrating following Sunday’s thrilling victory, after a match ranked as one of the greatest in the sport’s history.

He joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to reflect on the historic win, and reserved particular praise for the skipper and head coach.

He said: “Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss, what they’ve done with that team, because let’s be honest it wasn’t long ago that we were shocking in one-day cricket, in the World Cups that I played in and after that.

“But I think Eoin Morgan deserves so much credit for the way he’s led that team.

“They’ve found an identity. In the past we used to look around the world at other teams and think we need to play like that, we need to do this.

“But now they’ve got a group of players they trust in and they just keep coming at you.

“They play with a freedom I’ve never seen from an England side and I definitely think they have an identity and a confidence to go out there and beat anyone.

“The most impressive thing as well is England have been good in the past at going into tournaments as underdogs, but to be the frontrunners and see it through so very un-English!”

While they may make up on Monday with sore heads, England players can’t afford themselves too much time to celebrate their World Cup win with the Ashes just around the corner.

Eoin Morgan with the Cricket World Cup trophy
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The first Test against Australia at Edgbaston begins on August 1 – in just two weeks’ time.

And Flintoff can only see one result.

He added: “I think the Ashes is going to be closer than we think, Australia are coming together a decent side.

“But with the confidence we’ve just seen form the World Cup, I can’t see us losing it to be honest.

“I just think we’re too good.”

Listen back to Freddie Flintoff on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

England hero Mark Wood explains just how it feels to win Cricket World Cup after being ‘dead and buried twice’ against New Zealand

15 Jul

Mark Wood twice thought England had lost the Cricket World Cup before Sunday’s remarkable final turned back in the hosts’ favour.

The nail-biting encounter with New Zealand went down to a super over.

Mark Wood and Ben Stokes walk off after the match finished a tie
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Ben Stokes dragged England back when the odds were stacked against them as they needed 22 from nine balls.

The match ended in a tie as Wood was run out on the last ball, and the super over also went down to the wire with both teams again finishing level.

But the hosts claimed their first ever World Cup by virtue of scoring more boundaries.

England celebrate their victory in the Cricket World Cup final
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“It’s the best feeling ever,” Wood told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “We were dead and buried twice, I thought. I didn’t think before the two at the end we were going to make it.

“We got a bit of luck and Stokesy played unbelievably well. Then in the super over when they got the runs and when they needed three from two I was thinking ‘it’s not going to be our day’

“It was almost just meant to be and it was bodies flying everywhere and everyone just grabbing each other.

“Jofra [Archer] was on the floor with Stokes. It was mental but brilliant at the same time.”

It was the first time England have ever won the Cricket World Cup, and, remarkably, the first time in 27 years they’ve even reached a final.

Wood described what it was like playing under the high pressure conditions of the final.

He continued: “It did feel different. Obviously if we accept that it does feel different in probably in ways the first game of the tournament felt different.

“I think as long as you recognise it and accept it then it’s alright. On the field, as soon as I bowled my first ball then I was okay. Once you get into the game then it’s alright.

“It’s where the training takes over and the match takes over so you take it from there really.”